New site for children's hospital


Madam, – According to the 2006 Census, roughly 91 per cent of children under the age of 14 in the State live outside the M50. 62 per cent of children under-14 live in counties Meath, Louth, Wicklow, Kildare and Dublin excluding Dublin City. Only 9 per cent live in Dublin City but mostly outside the Canal Ring. The decision to locate the new children’s hospital inside the Canal Ring seems to have been done without much regard to the distribution of children in the State. On this basis alone, it makes no sense to locate the new hospital in the cramped grounds of a relatively inaccessible hospital in a traffic-choked city centre. There’s no point in building a hospital that children can’t get to in time.

One would love to know who or what will benefit from locating the new children’s hospital in the grounds of the Mater. It certainly will not be children. – Yours, etc,


Woodford Drive,


Dublin 22.

Madam, – I wonder if anyone has considered the Phoenix Park as a possible location for the new children’s hospital and the new maternity hospital? The State owns it, in other words the people of Ireland own it, so we should not have to pay for the site.

There is easy, quick access to the M50, the N4 and the city centre and it could have its own dedicated entrance into the park.

It is close to St James’s and not far from the Mater. It is close to Heuston Station and the Luas. There could be a shuttle bus between Heuston Station and the hospital campus in the Park and St James’s Hospital.

There is plenty room for parking. There is plenty room for expansion, so that all departments, including research could be on-site. I think everyone would agree that it is much more in the national interest to have the national children’s hospital and the maternity hospital in the Phoenix Park than the casino that was mooted by some Politicians years ago! – Yours, etc,


Mather Road North,

Mount Merrion,

Co Dublin.

Madam, – Dr Finbar Lennon writes “The vast majority of the children who will be served by this new hospital are not yet born” (October 19th).

Furthermore, many of the clinicians who will work in this new facility are yet to qualify. As a lowly student of medicine, I feel that the current debacle does nothing to motivate, encourage or inspire tomorrow’s doctors, nor does it bode well for the future of Ireland’s ailing health service. – Yours, etc,


Old Quarter,


Co Cork.

Madam, – Dr Liam Claffey states (October 15th) that the proposed hospital it is a “wonderful gift” for the children of Ireland. What about their parents or carers? Clearly the hospital is crucially needed. The proposed location, however, is a disaster, as evidenced by Dr Blainaid Hayes’s letter of the same date. As the mother of two young children, I dread the thought of them ever being in hospital, and I wonder at the thinking of the “expert” planners in locating it in the city centre. A children’s hospital in a city centre area well known for heavy traffic is nothing short of madness. Why make the burden of the families of a sick child so much heavier? – Yours, etc,


Mount Albion,


Dublin 14.

Madam, – Did I hear right? The proposed Mater children’s hospital has a capital budget deficit. One of the key contributions to the missing money problem will be car parking charges (Home News, October 13th).

Is this, or is it not, a tax on hospital visitors? Family, relatives and friends of the children will pay this tax based on the frequency and duration of visits. The more they visit, and the longer they stay, the more they pay. Is this considering the needs of children? – Yours, etc,


Albemarle Road,

York, England.